SC to hear Panamagate case on a daily basis

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The newly-formulated bench of Supreme Court has decided Wednesday that the Panamagate case proceedings will be conducted on a daily basis. The bench took up the case after winter break and with the new Chief Justice, Saqib Nisar, sworn in. The bench is headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and includes four other members: Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, Justice Aijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Gulzar Ahmed.

Imran Khan, Siraj-ul-Haque, Attorney General of Pakistan and other applicants were present in the Court, which was jam-packed.

Naeem Bukhari, the counsel from PTI, told the court that he has never addressed media on the issue when Justice Azmat Saeed pointed out that he should address the court, not the media.

Advocate Naeem Bukhari while arguing presented a reference of the speech given by prime minister on 4th April. He contended that the PM said that he had proof of investment in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, which he has failed to provide. Mr Bukhari argued that the prime minister is no longer ‘sadiq’ and ‘amin’ and thus should be proclaimed ineligible to hold the office.

Mr Bukhari further contended that documents issued by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) haven’t been challenged so far. There are no documents that have PM’s signature on them. ‘The PM said that he sold Jeddah steel mill to raise money for London flats. Sharif family’s investment in Dubai was benami. PM is involved in tax evasion,’ he argued. Mr Bukhari also pleaded that the Court order FBR to recover outstanding taxes.

Advocate Naeem Bukhari further argued that Al-Taufeeq Company filed a suit in London about Hudaibia Paper Mills. Justice Khosa said that NAB and FIA have said that this does not come under their sphere of influence. Mr Bukhari replied that Chairman NAB has failed to perform his duties. Justice Khosa said that NAB Chairman has already submitted his reply.

Naeem Bukhari argued that a notice must be issued to Shahbaz Sharif and he should be included in the case. Justice Azmat Saeed asked Bukhari that he hasn’t made Shahbaz Sharif a party in his application. Bukhari argued that Shahbaz Sharif has paid a payment of US$33 million in Al-Taufeeq case. Justice Gulzar questioned as to how Shahbaz Sharif made those payments, to which Bukhari replied that Shahbaz Sharif alone can answer it.

Justice Aijaz ul Hasan asked who bought the flats. Bukhari said Nascol bought the flats. He further contended that the court should ask Shahbaz Sharif as to how he transferred money abroad.

Justice Aijaz ul Hasan asked Bukhari if documents prove Hussain Nawaz being made owner of the Nascol back in1993. Bukhari replied that this was the great secret in the whole case.

‘Imran Khan’s name is also in Panama Papers,’ argued Advocate Tariq Asad. He pleaded before the court that investigations should include all people whose name have appeared in Panama Papers. Asad said that court should form a commission to investigate the matter. He also said that Imran Khan’s protests are endangering the fundamental rights of people. Judiciary and judges are being maligned which should be investigated too.

The Supreme Court adjourned hearing till tomorrow.